Baghdad: The US military said on Wednesday it is
clamping down on contracting firms on American military bases
using employees whose home countries ban travel to Iraq,
raising questions about why the contractors were allowed to
work in the country for so long despite the ban.
Philippines citizens have been banned since 2004 from
traveling to Iraq after insurgents threatened to behead a
Filipino truck driver, and officials in the Philippines say
they have repeatedly asked the US and other countries to
respect their ban.
Nepal banned workers from going to Iraq after 12 Nepalese
were executed by militants in 2004.
Despite the ban, many citizens from Nepal and the
Philippines still make the journey to Iraq, joining the tens
of thousands of contractors working in jobs ranging from
security to kitchen staff on bases.
US Col Richard E Nolan, of the military`s contracting
office in Iraq, said the military is investigating the firms`
Approximately 6,000 people from Nepal and the Philippines
working for the Department of Defence in Iraq could
potentially be affected, he said.
Nolan says companies would have 20 days to outline a plan
for ensuring their work force conforms with regulations. There
is no immediate timeline for when the workers would have to
leave the country.